At least 23 people were killed in floods at the start of the rainy season in Somalia

At least 23 people were killed in floods at the start of the rainy season in Somalia

Mogadishu, 4 April. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that at least 23 people, including six children, have died in Somalia due to floods and river overflows after the start of the rainy season in late March.

According to OCHA’s statement sent to EFE on Tuesday, nearly 100,000 people have been affected in the country, around 78,000 of them in Bardhere district, in the southern state of Jubbaland.

Twenty-one of the deaths were also concentrated there, while the other two occurred in the northern regions of Togdheer and Awdal, in self-proclaimed Somaliland.

He warned that the floods, which occurred in the context of the worst drought in the Horn of Africa in the past 40 years, also destroyed six medical centers, 200 toilets and four schools, and left more than 3,000 children without lessons.

More than 1,000 hectares of farmland have also been flooded after “moderate to heavy” rains in the Ethiopian mountains, which flow into Somalia and cause the Jubba and Shabelle rivers to overflow.

Although precipitation may provide “relief”, according to this UN agency, the “protracted nature of the drought and the forecast, which shows a 50% chance that the rains (…) will be less than normal with more than normal degrees. The surface heat in most parts of the country means that the effects of the drought will continue to be felt.”

Five failed rainy seasons in the Horn of Africa, including in Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti and parts of Uganda, have driven more than 1.4 million people in Somalia from their homes and killed 3.8 million head of livestock in the country.

Similarly, according to a study presented in March by the World Health Organization, as many as 43,000 people could have died last year from dehydration, half of them children under five.

The numbers are higher than those recorded in the previous drought the country experienced in 2017 and 2018.

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